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About the Work

My maternal grandfather, Jack was blown to smithereens in the mud of the Ypres Salient on 16 August 1917. He was 24. Jack left a wife and three small children whom she raised on a War Widows Pension of £3 a week. In today's money that would be £10 K a year.

In 2006 I researched, as far as it was possible to do, Jack's whereabouts when he was blown up. I photographed the ploughed Flanders field in sections with the idea of making a collage in his memory. But then I put the images away. It just wasn't working.

In 2009 I made a work about my mother, which I called simply Mother, based on the women she admired. In 2011, I made another called Grandmother, which acknowledged when my grandmother, the First World War widow, pulled my pram out of the way of incoming Nazi bullets during the Second World War. In 2017 I made Herman's Sermons, a tribute to my father.

On exactly the 100th anniversary of Jack's death, I returned to Ypres to show my brother where I thought he had been killed. And then I recalled that aborted clumsy collage. So back home I unearthed its images of the ploughed field of death and realised immediately that just one said it all. First time I just don't see the answer staring me in the face.

″I still use the same approach to my work: I get an idea, think of the title and then make the work. So not much has changed since 1964″

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